Geek at the cool table, cool at the geek table. (aspiring2live) wrote,
Geek at the cool table, cool at the geek table.

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Moderation and "The Routine"

Okay, it's Monday morning, 0855, and I am awake and well rested. I have successfully attained my first goal toward establishing a weekly routine, which is the only way I will ever accomplish anything with my LIFE!

See, I don't know where this comes from, but I have a crippling inability to moderate anything in my life. Before you commiserate with me, let me describe the severity of my condition, because I truly believe I have a real problem here, and something bigger is at work than with most people who think they have this problem.

I approach nearly every single attribute of my life with an "all or nothing" attitude. I either work out fiendishly and eat a strictly controlled diet, or I eat all the crappy foods I want and don't work out at all. Either I make tediously detailed lists of things to accomplish and follow them, or I make no lists and accomplish nearly nothing. Either I go to church every time the doors are open, or I don't go at all. I sit obsessively in front of my computer for hours and play games, surf, and tweak, or I hardly touch it for days.

At a time in my life when I drank alcohol, I didn't understand the concept of "social drinking." I enjoyed the feeling of intoxification and I drank to excess. I never sat around and had a "couple of beers" with friends. I drank till I had blackouts. I once woke up with my glasses stuck to my face because I had run into the door frame hard enough to cause my face to bleed and "glue" them to my eyebrow. I remember asking buddies how we got home the night before. I had pictures on my camera I had taken at a party that I didn't remember taking. Friends spoke of times I had absolutely no recollection of, and they were talking about me and what I did!

Now, it is both better and worse. I avoid alcohol for the above reasons, because I know it would only be detrimental to my life. But I will squander 6 hours or even more in front of this computer in a day because it is fun and I enjoy it. However, my house needs painting, I need to lose a hundred pounds (no kidding), I have an 8 year old who is paler than I am and doesn't know how to ride a bike (and doesn't seem to care to). My wood shop is crammed full of stuff that needs to be completed and moved out, and tools are piled on every flat surface. My pool is green, though nearly clean, and it is JULY. My grass is nearly always past needing cut. My house and yard are both a wreck. Though, in fairness to my wife, at least the house is passably clean. I mean you can lay on the floor and there are no bugs, but there is a lot more clutter than there should be.

In my struggle against what I call "All-or-Nothing Syndrome" it seems the struggle itself is all-or-nothing! In recent years, I have mostly given up and abandoned the struggle. Hence the extra weight and lack of accomplishments. I have become so self-centered in that all I really want to do is what makes me happy. Certainly, that is a human condition to some extent, but with age and maturity has also come the realization that this is destructive behavior. In order to feel like I have a purpose in life, I MUST LEARN to moderate. To do otherwise, like I have been, is to feel worthless, directionless, depressed, unmotivated; all so destructive that I can only hope it isn't too late to change direction. I absolutely have to begin moderating my time so that I spend a good portion of it accomplishing things that are essential to accomplish to be a fully functioning member of my family, my community, the whole human race.

I think this begins with those confounded lists, only not so complex. More like daily guides to what I might accomplish, if I am reasonably unencumbered and motivated. Ideally, I will make my daily plans the night before. Some will be general, like "clean up back yard." Some will be tediously specific. However, the key is they will all be decidedly MODERATE in their nature.

Today is the day I strike out into moderate territory, to moderate my life in any way I can that isn't All or Nothing. I expect to get thrown from this horse almost as soon as I get on it, but the difference this time is I will be happy to have one foot in the stirrup. To be dragged in the dirt rather than to be on or off this horse is Moderation after all!! See, part of being "all-or-nothing" is being an easy quitter, because you are either into something completely or quitting and walking away altogether. I will no longer QUIT because I am switching into "Nothing mode." That is to say, this new goal in my life to moderate is a permanent one from which I expect frequent, yet temporary, deviations.

It is 0935, I must prepare a list and go for my morning walk... in a moderate way, of course!
Tags: all or nothing, aspiring to live, moderation, productivity

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